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Living in Rochester

Drs. Pillai, Ayo, Carrier and Swanger in front of Eastman TheaterRochester is a wonderfully livable community. It is a mid-sized city that offers a great range of cultural activities, including an incredible music scene (in part because of the presence of the Eastman School of Music); numerous festivals, including the annual Jazz Festival and the Lilac Festival; a large number of outstanding restaurants; and great public school systems. At the same time, the cost of living is very low (many residents own houses), and traffic and commute times are minimal. And then there’s Wegmans—consistently voted the best grocery store in the US for a reason.

It takes literally minutes to go from anywhere in Rochester to one of the beautiful parks in the greater Rochester area or to get outside of town to enjoy an enormous range of outdoor activities in the Finger Lakes region, including skiing, wine tasting, and spectacular hikes (such as along the gorges in Letchworth Park and Watkins Glen).

A common misconception is that the weather in Rochester is bad. In fact, winters are less cold than in many other major US cities, with an average high temperature in January (the coldest month) of 32 degrees F; sure, we get snow, but many residents embrace and celebrate the snow, which offers great skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding options. The spring, summer and fall are all wonderfully enjoyable.

And home ownership is common among our residents and fellows. The University has partnered with the city of Rochester and local banks to incentivize residents with up to $9000 credit toward the purchase of a house in the neighborhoods near the University and Medical Center. Learn more about this amazing program.

Aerial view of the University of Rochester, the Medical Center, and Downtown Rochester

A Few of Our Favorite Things About Rochester

My husband and I are sailors and you can't beat the sailing on Lake Ontario and the Finger Lakes. There is also fantastic hiking both in the Finger Lakes and the Adirondacks. When there isn't a pandemic, we also go to the Little Theater downtown which shows a lot of great indie movies and has the BEST popcorn."

I particularly like getting involved in the adult recreational sport leagues around Rochester. I captain a resident volleyball league that plays year round at an indoor sand volleyball court on University Ave. I also plan to start a kickball league once the pandemic restrictions lift."

I enjoy trying all the diverse bars and restaurants around town with friends and family. I also like to visit the Finger Lakes where there are so many different wineries/breweries, hikes, and towns to explore. I also enjoy trying out the many local golf courses around."

I love shopping at the Public Market, walking or cycling along the river and canal trails, hiking in the nearby parks, and I'm hoping to once again enjoy delicious tea at Happy Earth Tea once we are through COVID."

I love hanging out in the parks nearby and can often be found up a tree with a book. There's access to beaches and the river for kayaking. I'm also finally learning to ski!"

I'm a latte lover and love perusing through the various coffee spots in Rochester with my favorite being Glen Edith Coffee Roasters on Elton Street. There are also great hiking/running trails in the area including the Genesee Valley Trail and Letchworth Park that I enjoy exploring with my husband, who is a radiology resident here. Situated in the Finger Lakes Region, the Rochester area also has plenty of other attractions that we enjoy including Watkins Glen and waterways. In the fall, apple picking is a must-do and, in the winters, we enjoy going to Holiday Valley (about a 2 hour drive away) where there are great skiing and snowboarding slopes."

One of my favorite places in Rochester is on the Towpath along the Erie Canal.  That is where my husband proposed to me, and we love taking walks with our dog there."